The Montreux Palace Hotel was built in an age when it was thought that things would last. It is on the very shores of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva, its balconies and iron railings look across the water, its yellow-ocher awnings are a touch of color in the winter light. It is like a great sanitarium or museum. There are Bechstein pianos in the public rooms, a private silver collection, a Salon de Bridge. This is the hotel where the novelist Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov and his wife, Véra, live. They have been here for 14 years. One imagines his large and brooding reflection in the polished glass of bookcases near the reception desk where there are bound volumes of the Illustrated London News from the year 1849 to 1887, copies of Great Expectations, The Chess Games of Greco and a book called Things Past, by the Duchess of Sermoneta.
‘Secret Santa’ storms through Sandy-battered New York handing $100 bills to strangers
A wealthy Missouri man posing as “Secret Santa” stunned New Yorkers, handing $100 bills to many in Staten Island who had lost everything to Superstorm Sandy.
The Kansas City businessman is giving away $100,000 this holiday season, and spent the day in New Jersey and New York giving away thousands. But he says money is not the issue.
“The money is not the point at all,” said the anonymous benefactor on Thursday as he walked up to surprised Staten Island residents and thrust crisp bills into their hands. “It’s about the random acts of kindness. I’m just setting an example, and if 10 per cent of the people who see me emulate what I’m doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!” (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
File under people doing nice things for other people.
Early in her career, the idea began to get around that she was more than merely human—that she was perhaps a bodhisattva, a living Buddha, born to save her people from suffering. In 1990, after the regime chose to ignore the landslide election victory of her party, the National League for Democracy, it was reported that Buddha statues around the country had begun to weep from the left breast. This was seen by many as confirmation of Suu Kyi’s supernatural provenance, and an indication that sooner or later this tender woman—the left breast indicating the feminine principle, weeping out of pity—was bound to prevail.